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Chad Henne's progress off the field is apparent

If you only have a view of what happens on the field, this post won't interest you. But if you think what goes on off the field matters also, particularly when focusing on the quarterback, this is important.

Very important.

Sunday's view from the field showed quarterback Chad Henne have a fine outing. He threw three touchdown passes. He had one interception. In Miami's new offense.


But peel back that on-field viewpoint to the picture behind the scenes, in the locker room, and you see perhaps more important signs that Miami's young quarterback is at least pointed, if not already headed in the right direction.

For one thing, players are going to Henne for answers this training camp.

“Yeah, what I’ve seen is the more people are going to Chad for the answers and that’s a good problem," coach Tony Sparano said. "I think that the more times…you would have to envision that when you’re at Indianapolis or a place like that, that people are going to Peyton (Manning) for the answers.  Well more people are going to Chad for the answers now and that’s a direct reflection of what this young guy has done in this lockout period.

"You know with what he did with those workouts and the amount of time he put in has been outstanding.  You know we have had three or four practices where blitz periods and they’re not flashy because the ball doesn’t get down the field when it has to come out of your hand fast.  But the whole operation from huddle call to snap to him getting the ball out in some of these situations his percentage right now in those situations has been really high."

It interests me that teammates are going to Henne because it's a sign they respect Henne. It's a sign they view him as something of the offense's leader. It shows respect for his knowledge and ability to help.

It's good teammates view Henne that way because it would be very easy not to. Remember, the truth is Henne was benched last year. He is the guy the team spent much of the offseason trying to replace in that the Dolphins studied every quarterback available in the draft and then searched high and low in free agency to sign somebody else.

The team also was involved a very public attempt to trade for Kyle Orton. And everyone expects if a Chad Pennington-style miracle becomes available to fall from the sky sometime this preseason, the Dolphins would probably be in the mix.

So it's obvious to the players in the Miami locker room that Henne's status is not exactly written in concrete.

But Henne's footing is firm enough in their eyes that they go to the guy for help. That's a good sign. He has not been undermined. He has standing.

That's big for a quarterback.

This is also big: Henne and Brandon Marshall are starting to make more of a concerted effort to figure each other out.

Look, these two guys are polar opposits, Marshall an emotional fellow and Henne something of an over-thinker. But these two guys also need each other. Henne cannot succeed without Marshall and vice versa. I hope they have learned that after not exactly showing they recognized that last year.

Earlier in training camp -- the first week -- I had my doubts these two guys could ever mesh. Henne clearly prefers to throw the ball to Davone Bess over Marshall. Marshall doesn't always do exactly as the play design calls and Henne has trouble with the ad libbing.

Hence, they weren't on the same page.

But the two spoke about that prior to Sunday's scrimmage.

“I think today is really the very first day we connected pretty well," Henne said. "I think the previous practices we weren’t on the same page and we talked before practice, we communicated, and we got it done today.

"I mean, the details has to be solid out here. I mean, if he’s in one spot and I’m throwing in another spot, we’re not on the same page. If I know where he’s going to be at least I can give him a chance to put the ball up there for him. Coach always said details are the more important thing so that’s what we did."

What they did -- Miami's current starting quarterback and Alpha receiver -- is communicate. If only for one afternoon, that translated to them being in synch. That doesn't guarantee anything for the next outing, but it shows progress.

Henne on Sunday showed progress -- on the field, yes. But just as importantly, with leadership and communication issues he faces in the locker room, he showed tangible gains on Sunday as well.